Abkhazia launches operation to force Georgian troops out

August 9th, 2008 - 9:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Aug 9 (Xinhua) The armed forces of Georgia’s breakaway Abkhazia region have begun an operation to force Georgian troops out of the upper part of the Kodori gorge, the Itar-Tass news agency quoted foreign minister of the self-proclaimed republic Sergei Shamba as saying Saturday. Abkhazia’s artillery and air force carried out strikes against Georgian troops in the gorge, the report said.

In a separate report by Interfax news agency, Abkhaz leader Sergei Bagapsh confirmed its “aviation is currently conducting an operation in the upper part of the Kodori gorge of Abkhazia controlled by Georgia.” He added that the operation would continue.

The regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia broke away from Georgia in the 1990s following the collapse of the former Soviet Union. But their self-proclaimed independence has not been internationally recognized.

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